Thursday, 1 April 2021
Children (Amendment) Bill 2020 [Seanad]: Committee and Remaining Stages
I will respond specifically to the points raised by Deputy Carroll MacNeill. I am very sympathetic to the points she has raised. On foot of her raising that the last time we spoke in the Dáil, I asked my officials to engage with her and explore this potential change. What became very apparent, as the Deputy outlined, was that this is quite a complex area. In some cases, it goes outside the scope of section 252. The intention of the Bill is try to restore the thought that existed before the case in October last year in respect of section 252.
I give Deputy Carroll MacNeill a commitment to explore this matter further to see how it could potentially be addressed. I am not sure whether it will require a miscellaneous provisions Bill or otherwise but I commit to exploring the matter further, acknowledging the spirit of co-operation in which the Deputy raised this point. I thank her for support for the legislation.
I thank all Deputies for their support in progressing the Bill as quickly as possible. We could only do that because there was cross-party support. I thank Deputy Jim O'Callaghan and Senator McDowell for their collaboration in putting the Bill together and allowing us to bring it through so quickly. We intend to restore the position that obtained prior to the ruling in October to ensure that parents of deceased children can name them in public and remember them in the way they want. I sincerely hope that, once the legislation has been fully enacted in the coming weeks, this right will be restored and we will have dealt with an issue that caused significant hurt and pain to many.